Ultimate Software – Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Fri, 15 Sep 2017 10:00:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 Service: It’s More Important Than You Think https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/service-importance/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/service-importance/#comments Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:28:21 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=855 As Ultimate Software’s Chief Services Officer, my views on the importance of service might seem slightly biased. In an industry as innovative and fast-paced as HCM technology, there’s a tendency to focus on the newest pioneering solutions—and these powerful advances are certainly game-changing. But Ultimate has always been committed to providing world-class service to our […]

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As Ultimate Software’s Chief Services Officer, my views on the importance of service might seem slightly biased. In an industry as innovative and fast-paced as HCM technology, there’s a tendency to focus on the newest pioneering solutions—and these powerful advances are certainly game-changing. But Ultimate has always been committed to providing world-class service to our customers, and more than 80 percent of our employees are staffed in customer service and product development roles. We always knew this dedication to service was an incredible differentiator in the HCM sphere.

And many others agree.

A November 2016 survey by Kelton Global revealed that a staggering 7 out of 10 HR decision makers regretted their HCM provider choice. The #1 reason they cited? Poor customer service. Moreover, 3 out of 4 buyers reported having issues with their current providers’ service, and 71 percent said they wished they had spent more time researching their HCM providers’ service (compared with just 43 percent who wished they’d further researched solution functionality). In the end, 62 percent of HR solution buyers concluded that customer service is as important as or more important than product functionality.

That is a substantial amount of regret. It seems far too many HR leaders have underestimated the importance of service.

At Ultimate, we’ve never wavered on our commitment to customers. Our 95 percent customer satisfaction rate is a striking difference from the statistics above—and it all comes down to Ultimate’s focus on the second “s” in SaaS.

service dartWe offer 24-7 phone support and an innovative collaborative support service model that’s been proven to decrease customer resolution time by 60 percent. We also assign every customer a dedicated account manager, who walks them through every step. Self-service help is also available online for those who prefer to find answers on their own. Perhaps most notably, we provide each and every customer with free training—for life.

Not only do we provide personalized service and support, but we also listen closely to our customers and address their unique business needs. We implemented more than 30 new features in UltiPro this year, and that included more than 80 customer ideas.

I certainly don’t want to discount the importance of technology here, as unbelievable advances in the field (prescriptive analytics, for example) continue to assist HR professionals in ways previously unimaginable. But, as too many decision makers have unfortunately learned the hard way, it’s crucial to prioritize both service and technology when evaluating HCM providers.

In fact, it’s probably more important than you think.

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How Ultimate Software Cultivates the Best Workplace in Technology https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/best-large-workplace/#comments Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:42:27 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=840 I’m proud to announce that Fortune recently named Ultimate Software the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology-for the second year in a row. This significant honor adds to an extensive list of our recent awards (22 earned in 2016 alone), all stemming from one, founding principle: “People First.” This singular belief has impacted every part […]

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I’m proud to announce that Fortune recently named Ultimate Software the #1 Best Large Workplace in Technology-for the second year in a row. This significant honor adds to an extensive list of our recent awards (22 earned in 2016 alone), all stemming from one, founding principle: “People First.”

best large workplace technology

This singular belief has impacted every part of our journey. It’s allowed us to create a culture where 99% of employees experience a “great atmosphere” and report having “great pride” in their company. It’s driven us to achieve continued success over our 26-year history. It’s enabled us to help thousands of companies put their own people first. Because we know that, when we take care of our employees, they’re empowered to take care of our customers. And when that happens, everybody wins.

Curious what putting people first means to US? Here are a few ways we’ve created the best large workplace in the industry.

Training and Development

Ultimate invests in our employees’ futures and supports them through each step of their careers. Our innovative TechSTARS internship program recruits promising college students and recent grads for a structured, year-long program where they’re assigned mentors, follow customized learning paths, and work on a peer-to-peer basis with our full-time software engineers. Currently, 95% of our interns who are offered full-time jobs with Ultimate accept, and at least a third of our product developers began as interns—including me!

The Rising Stars program is a similar development program for employees with full-time, customer-facing roles, spanning 14 weeks and encompassing one-on-one mentorship, group learning, individual job-path study, and team-building exercises. These programs not only help new employees adjust to their new roles, but are also extremely effective in instilling Ultimate’s “People First” values.

We also support our employees’ educational goals by fully funding professional training courses and offering tuition reimbursement of up to $5,250 per year. Extensive leadership development courses are available for everyone from entry-level employees to top executives, setting the stage for future growth and promotions—because when our people thrive, Ultimate thrives.

Generous Benefits

Our total compensation package goes far beyond salary. All full-time employees receive 100% employer-paid healthcare for their entire families, including medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage—even IVF and IUI fertility treatments. I’m extremely proud of our 401(k) program, where we match 40% of our employees’ contributions dollar for dollar, up to the highest allowable federal limit. We also welcome new hires to the family by providing them with stock shares, fostering an immediate sense of pride and ownership in our company. Finally, we offer 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and four weeks of paid paternity/adoption leave, so our new parents have time to recuperate and bond with their growing families without worrying about any professional or financial hardships.

We also offer life insurance for both employees and their spouses, long-term disability, and wellness benefits such as on-site masseuses, acupuncturists, yoga, Pilates, stretching, and meditation classes. By taking care of our people physically, mentally, and financially, they’re able to focus their attention on developing industry-leading products and providing world-class, white-glove service.

Work-Life Balance

Workplace flexibility is another key component of putting people first. More than 40% of our employees telecommute, and another quarter utilize flexible schedules and compressed work weeks. The implementation of paid time off, instead of designated sick and vacation days, is another way we enable our employees to balance their careers with their daily responsibilities.

Giving Back

Making a difference in our local and global communities has been a cornerstone of our “People First” culture from the beginning, and it remains a great source of pride for all of us today. Every employee is encouraged to volunteer at least two days each year, receiving full pay and the flexibility to choose the causes they care most about. As we have grown, so has our ability to positively impact a variety of initiatives. Today, Ultimate and our employees donate time, money, and raise awareness for everything from natural disasters to our own employees in need – together, we make a meaningful difference in the world.

Cutting-Edge Workspace

Our innovative work stations are more than just open floorplans. Employees’ workspaces are completely catered to them, from the choice of a laptop to standing, cycling, and treadmill desk options. Every floor boasts at least one themed café, equipped with free beverages and comfortable seating to encourage interactions and caffeine consumption. There are multiple bookable conference rooms and even more informal group meeting spaces—including our golfer’s green, where employees can brainstorm and putt simultaneously. We have a private room to practice, record, and review presentations. We also have a game room, meditation space, and massive saltwater fish tank.

Everything we do focuses on our underlying commitment to put people first – and that’s what sets us apart.

That’s what makes us the best large workplace.

But also…the free ice cream.

 

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The Characteristics of Great Leaders https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-characteristics-of-great-leaders/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-characteristics-of-great-leaders/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 11:47:08 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=304 We at Ultimate Software are proud to announce that our Founder, President, and CEO, Scott Scherr, is among the Highest-Rated CEOs on Glassdoor for 2015! Each year, the online jobs and careers marketplace lists the top leaders from companies across North America and Europe. Results are based solely on candid feedback from current and former […]

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We at Ultimate Software are proud to announce that our Founder, President, and CEO, Scott Scherr, is among the Highest-Rated CEOs on Glassdoor for 2015!Highest Rated CEOs

Each year, the online jobs and careers marketplace lists the top leaders from companies across North America and Europe. Results are based solely on candid feedback from current and former employees, who report on topics such as job satisfaction, work environment, and company culture.

Scott founded Ultimate 25 years ago on a simple, but vital, principle: People First. This is far more than a catchy company slogan or tagline. At Ultimate Software, it’s our way of life. It’s an unconditional belief instilled in all of us.

If great leaders lead by example, how does a leader exemplify putting people first?

They listen to people. It’s no secret that successful leaders are knowledgeable and have great ideas. But they also recognize the value in listening to others. They understand—and will admit—that, sometimes, the best ideas are the ones they never thought of.

At Ultimate, each and every employee is allowed to speak up and share new ideas. No suggestion is bothersome. We aren’t told we must follow the same tried-and-true formula because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Instead, we’re challenged to find innovative ways of improving that very formula.

They empower people. Great leaders realize a suggestion box left unopened is just a box. They not only listen to others’ ideas, they evaluate suggestions and implement the concepts capable of benefiting the company’s people—employees and customers alike.

A tangible example of this at Ultimate is our 48 Hours event, where members of the Development Team can spend two straight days working and collaborating on their own special projects, so long as the work relates to company goals. The event culminates in a showcase, where participants present and vote on their favorite concepts. Many of UltiPro®’s existing features were inspired by 48 Hours.

Ultimate also empowers our customers, who are welcomed and encouraged to submit UltiPro feedback. This feedback has led to numerous UltiPro enhancements. In fact, of the over 400 new features added to UltiPro in 2014, more than 150 incorporated customer ideas.

They know success takes a team. Leaders who put people first know that success comes from the dedicated efforts of people, not a single person. These leaders treat every member of the team as their equal. That doesn’t mean there’s no hierarchy or chain of command within the organization. It means that no matter their spot on the org chart, each person plays an indispensable role in the company’s success. Each team member feels valued and respected. And they are.

At the SHRM 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition—while accepting Ultimate’s award for Best Medium-Size Company to Work For in America—Scott said, “The measure of a company is how they treat their lowest-paid employee.” This quote is displayed in the main lobby of our Weston headquarters, above our recreational basketball court.

But no matter how thoughtful or inspiring, a quote is just a collection of words. Much like slogans or taglines, few quotes are as impactful as action. Scott knows you can’t just say, “people first.” To be successful, you have to put people first.

Because great leaders walk the talk.

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Be(ing) the Best https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/being-the-best/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/being-the-best/#respond Tue, 17 Mar 2015 12:33:24 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=212 Vivian Maza Chief People Officer Ultimate Software Last week, Fortune released its 18th annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” listing, in partnership with Great Place to Work®. Feedback from employees and companies themselves determines ranking. Through the Trust Index© Employee Survey, accounting for two-thirds, employees rate their organization on job satisfaction, camaraderie among colleagues, […]

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Vivian Maza

Vivian Maza
Chief People Officer
Ultimate Software

Last week, Fortune released its 18th annual “100 Best Companies to Work For” listing, in partnership with Great Place to Work®.

Feedback from employees and companies themselves determines ranking. Through the Trust Index© Employee Survey, accounting for two-thirds, employees rate their organization on job satisfaction, camaraderie among colleagues, and management’s credibility. In the Culture Audit©, companies self-report on subjects such as compensation, benefits, and recognition programs.

What does it take to be the Best? It’s about putting people first.

This goes beyond offering a competitive benefits package. It’s about creating a company culture that cultivates trust, respect, and an overall sense of value among all members of your organization.
Being the BestIt’s when a supervisor spends time getting to know her colleague and his passions away from the desk. While chatting over lunch, she learns of his involvement with a local charity. Soon, your company supports his contributions — by matching a donation or providing extra PTO so he can spend time giving back.

After a charitable day away, he returns to work with a renewed sense of purpose. He’s made a difference in the community. You’ve made a difference in his life.

Showing your people you genuinely care about them doesn’t have to cost much more than your time and some thought. It can be as simple as an employee-recognition program, with meaningful reminders that they’re doing a great job.

New research finds 43% of Millennials want feedback every week — but they’re not the only ones who appreciate acknowledgment. And while we’re on the subject, never discount the value of a hand-written “Thank You” note, especially in the Digital Age. Kudos keep employees happy, engaged, and motivated.

There’s a simple theme at work here: Give back to your employees by all means and they’ll reciprocate in myriad ways. Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of you — and your customers.

And if you’re still worried about the financials of investing in your workforce, don’t be. Putting people first pays off.

According to Great Place to Work, publicly traded Best Companies perform almost twice as well as major stock indices and provide nearly three times the market return. Moreover, because their employees are more engaged and less likely to leave, Best Companies also save substantial money, given the high costs associated with constant turnover.

The benefits of being on Fortune‘s Best Companies list are as plentiful as the ways.

What are you doing to be the Best?

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Ultimate Software is proud and honored to be ranked in the top 25 on Fortune‘s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list four years in a row.

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Letting the User Experience Drive the Decision Making Process https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/letting-the-user-experience-drive-the-decision-making-process/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/letting-the-user-experience-drive-the-decision-making-process/#respond Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:26:29 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=166 As a business, we focus on the customer. Even if you’re in government or the non-profit world, you have someone that fills the role of “customer”. We want those individuals to be happy with our product or service. We want them to have a good experience when they interact with or organization. The same philosophy […]

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As a business, we focus on the customer. Even if you’re in government or the non-profit world, you have someone that fills the role of “customer”. We want those individuals to be happy with our product or service. We want them to have a good experience when they interact with or organization.

The same philosophy holds true when we talk about software. The customer is a user and we want them to have a good user experience. Often the user experience is mistaken for how visually appealing an application looks. But the user experience is about much more than aesthetics. A great user experience enables people to perform a task efficiently and successfully, while at the same time being enjoyable.

Letting the User Experience Drive the Decision Making Process

Creating a positive user experience isn’t easy. Especially when you have a unique corporate culture. However, one company that’s allowed the user experience to drive the decision making process with excellent results is LivingSocial.

For those of you who don’t get their daily deals, LivingSocial is a marketplace to buy the “best things to do” in cities around the world. Based in Washington, D.C., LivingSocial currently operates in 11 countries worldwide and has 40 million users around the world.

As a company, LivingSocial is very aware of the importance of the user experience. Their members’ user experience drives sales. So when it comes to a human capital solution, the employees drove the process. LivingSocial included employees in the selection process for their HCM solution. Colleen Wood, vice president of human resources at LivingSocial, said they asked for employee feedback in a couple of key areas:

How would employees use the system? You can implement the fanciest solution in the whole world but, if no one uses it, it’s not really a success. An employee’s first interaction with LivingSocial is through UltiPro. Once an employee is onboarded, here are some of the things they can do:

  • Receive company information and news
  • Collaborate with managers on their career development plans and performance
  • Access paychecks and direct deposit notices
  • Request time off

What devices would employees use to access the system? When a majority of users will access the system using their mobile devices, then the system needs to be responsive. UltiPro Mobile is compatible with any HTML5-friendly smartphone or tablet browser so there’s no need to download anything. Employees are able to get company, human resources and payroll information instantly.

Now, just because LivingSocial allowed the user experience to drive their decision making, it doesn’t mean the business didn’t get the results they wanted. According to Wood, they’ve seen big results in two areas:

  • Onboarding – At LivingSocial, the employee’s first day is their most important day with the company. It needs to be perfect. UltiPro helps new employees feel connected, engaged, and productive from day one. New hires at LivingSocial are able to quickly complete and sign any required documents electronically. They can also connect with other team members through social media networks, choose a mentor, and select training opportunities.
  • Data and Reporting – The LivingSocial HR team was able to use the reporting feature to provide accurate, real-time metrics to the senior management team needed for strategic planning, compliance reporting and daily employee management. No more manual headcounts, report reconciliations, or data entry delays.

At Ultimate Software’s Connections conference, LivingSocial was recognized for their hard work in aligning their employee-centric culture with technology innovation. In announcing the award, Chief Technology Officer Adam Rogers said they demonstrated excellence in multiple categories. “With core values that include live hungry, makes strong moves, and champion good ideas, LivingSocial was a clear winner for our 2014 Innovation Award.”

Check out this video from the LivingSocial HR team about what the UltiPro solution has done for their company:

I love this video. Don’t you want to have a unicorn in your office?!

 

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Connections 2014 Summary – The New Generation of Work https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2014-summary-the-new-generation-of-work/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/connections-2014-summary-the-new-generation-of-work/#respond Thu, 01 May 2014 05:28:36 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=165 This year’s Connections conference hosted by Ultimate Software was a monumental success for everyone in attendance! The annual event in Las Vegas for UltiPro customers, technology experts, and industry analysts offers unparalleled opportunities for interacting and networking with some of the most innovative, forward-thinking people in human capital management (HCM). Customers had the chance to […]

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This year’s Connections conference hosted by Ultimate Software was a monumental success for everyone in attendance! The annual event in Las Vegas for UltiPro customers, technology experts, and industry analysts offers unparalleled opportunities for interacting and networking with some of the most innovative, forward-thinking people in human capital management (HCM). Customers had the chance to expand their knowledge of Ultimate’s solutions, experience hands-on training with experts, collaborate with peers, and get a closer look at the UltiPro product roadmap and upcoming features.

Connections 2014, themed “The New Generation of Work,” ran from April 6 to April 11 at the Bellagio hotel and drew nearly 1,600 attendees from across the U.S. and Canada. Ultimate Software experts and partners offered over 100 sessions that empowered users with a greater understanding of current technologies, industry best practices, and trends that can increase operational effectiveness in the workplace. In addition to the many breakouts and hands-on learning sessions, customers explored the Ultimate Experience, an enormous open-floor exhibition with product demos, interactive displays, and partner booths, and plenty of Ultimate staff were on hand for questions.

While learning more about Ultimate Software’s solutions and features, attendees enjoyed appearances by renowned speakers on a variety of topics. Jason Dorsey, a.k.a. The Gen Y Guy®,” was on hand to share his insights on the generation gap and how to best manage the five generations that will comprise the workforce of the near future. Best-selling author Patrick Lencioni offered his best practices for organizational health and employee engagement, then world record-setting Paralympics athlete Aimee Mullins shared her inspirational story of success in the face of overwhelming adversity. In the evenings, attendees got the chance to kick back and experience a New York City-themed customer appreciation party as well as a performance by American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.

Every year, Connections is exciting for us as a unique and powerful forum for Ultimate staff and attendees to come together to exchange knowledge and feedback. We’re always grateful for the chance to share our roadmap for the upcoming year and the innovative technologies and features that can simplify our customers’ work lives. Thank you to all Connections 2014 attendees for making this conference successful. We hope that every participant had an enjoyable, positive, and rewarding experience. Please save the date for next year’s customer conference, March 24-27, 2015.

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The New Generation of Work – Connections 2014 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-new-generation-of-work-connections-2014/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/the-new-generation-of-work-connections-2014/#respond Mon, 31 Mar 2014 10:30:41 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=161 At Ultimate, we understand that getting the most from your people is a full-time endeavor. After all, every component of our technology team is focused on putting people first in delivering our innovative HR solutions, from maintaining high availability and improving the end-user experience to all of the exciting advancements on our product roadmap. To […]

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At Ultimate, we understand that getting the most from your people is a full-time endeavor. After all, every component of our technology team is focused on putting people first in delivering our innovative HR solutions, from maintaining high availability and improving the end-user experience to all of the exciting advancements on our product roadmap.

To provide the level of service and functionality our customers deserve, we channel this focus every day of the year. But next week is special. The Connections conference is an exceptional opportunity for our team to network with the people that rely on UltiPro daily in their professional lives, connect with partners, and unveil our continuing vision for the future of human capital management.

This year, we’ll be hosting 1,500 attendees in Las Vegas for what will undoubtedly be our best conference ever. We’re offering two completely new special-interest session tracks compared to last year, for a total of 11. We’ve also expanded our popular hands-on learning sessions to encompass three days of the conference to help even more of our customers get the most from UltiPro. Additionally, you’ll notice more Ultimate team members and partners among the Connections staff available to share their knowledge and help make this year’s event an unprecedented success.
The New Generation of WorkConnections 2014 will include the chance to see some of the most exciting keynote speakers we could have hoped for. Jason Dorsey, a.k.a. The Gen Y Guy® will be bringing his generational expertise to the conference stage. He’ll share his insights in managing across the four distinct generations that comprise the workforce of the present and future, with a focus on the secrets of both managing and selling millennials. Jason is hilarious—I’d be shocked if anyone in the ballroom is able to resist laughing out loud by the end of his presentation. Patrick Lencioni is a bestselling author with more than 3 million copies sold of his work on the topics of organizational health and workforce dysfunction. His perspectives on employee engagement and passion for teamwork reflect what Ultimate is all about. Finally, we’ll be lucky enough to hear from Aimee Mullins, a truly inspirational individual who set world records in 100- and 200-meter dash events as well as the long jump despite being outfitted with prosthetic legs her entire life. She’s also the youngest person ever to hold a top-secret clearance at the Pentagon and serves on numerous boards and nonprofits, including the Women’s Sports Foundation.

As always, I’m especially eager to share what my team has in store for the coming year. We’ll be showing off some very cool new UltiPro features and functionality, and I can’t wait to hear what our customers think. Even if you can’t join us this year, be sure to follow all the action on Twitter at #UltiConnect. See you in Vegas!

 

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Big Data https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/big-data/#respond Wed, 20 Mar 2013 06:48:16 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=145 Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident. Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of […]

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Last week, I was a guest at the Ultimate Software Users’ Conference. The audience was at least 1,500 strong. The customer loyalty was evident.

Big Data was part of the subtext of the meeting. Ultimate is expanding its reach with “connectors” and a partnership with Informatica. Both involve making the UltiPro tool the center of data usage and analysis.

Ron Hanscome, the new analyst at Gartner gave a presentation about Big Data that included the usual admonishments to upskill the HR Team. He noted that most intra-system work is done with spreadsheets. He described an achievable vision of the questions involved in going towards big data.

And, Ultimate is introducing an algorithm that predicts an employee’s retention risk and embeds it directly into their Talent Card, helping leaders more proactively manage their talent.

There are a few things that most people miss about Big Data in HR.

  • HR will be a significant provider to other departments’ Big Data machinations. It will require a rapid move away from spreadsheets and towards real data integrity. This will be a new and important demand for HR’s time and resources. The political and legal issues are significant.
  • Real time performance management is another way of saying real time surveillance. As the Talent Management arena becomes real time, HR’s role is going to shift in a hurry.
  • The most significant benefits of Big Data projects will use data from outside the HR Department and from outside the organization.
  • Big Data will have a larger effect on the organization than social media. It will force departments and suppliers to collaborate in ways impossible to imagine.

IT oriented consultants view the adoption of this next wave of technology as yet another exercise in readiness and planning. It will be every bit as much of that as social media or the original web were. Meaning not at all.

As we learn to ask the right questions and learn to ask the ones we think are impossible, the magic of measuring will become clearer.

Meanwhile, tons of companies will be aggregating the data about our employees and offering to sell it back to us. They will arrive at insights we wish weren’t so public. They will spot our weaknesses before we do.

For example, what is the range of tenure in your most important department? What should it be? What is it like in other companies? What percent of your best people are close to or beyond the average retention rate? How does that compare to your industry, their industry, your region or other clusters of that type of professional.

(Note that every worker is simultaneously a member of your company’s industry and their profession’s industry. You can’t really understand your workforce unless you understand the dynamics of both.)

Just as Big Data is emerging as a force in recruiting (Indeed and all of the social data aggregators and testers). It will transform the HR Department and the rest of the organization.

I’m not so sure about the upskilling thing but do recommend that you get everyone in the HR Department a copy of Naked Statistics. (The sad thing is that the folks who really need it block content that contains the word Naked.)

 

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Live from #UltiConnect 2013: 4 Ways Today’s Business Leaders Can Embrace Millennials https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-from-ulticonnect-2013-the-one-quality-of-a-winning-team/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/live-from-ulticonnect-2013-the-one-quality-of-a-winning-team/#respond Fri, 15 Mar 2013 16:21:54 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=140 Millennials. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without them. But some business leaders would like to think that they could. Or at least that’s what some business leaders think. Words like lazy, entitled, impatient, spoiled and naive are tossed in the general direction of the Millennials coming into the workforce. But thinking that way is […]

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Millennials. Can’t live with them. Can’t live without them. But some business leaders would like to think that they could. Or at least that’s what some business leaders think. Words like lazy, entitled, impatient, spoiled and naive are tossed in the general direction of the Millennials coming into the workforce.

But thinking that way is so 2010. The Millennial generation is the future of business! Literally.

Today, there are approximately 80 million Millennials in the US, and by the year 2020, they’ll comprise roughly 50% of the workforce. So it’s imperative that we, as business leaders, rethink our “World of Work”, because the Millennial generation’s expectations are definitely different.

This week, at Ultimate Software’s Connections Conference in Las Vegas, Lisa Sterling – Senior Director of People Engagement at Ultimate Software, provided some practical tips and insights for embracing Millennials in the workplace, including:

Understand what motivates the Millennial generation. Salaries and benefits are still important, but when it comes to Millennials, they’re very focused on work and workplaces with a compelling purpose. Does your company support the environment, provide opportunities to volunteer in the community or support philanthropic initiatives? Can employees see a connection to the Company’s results with their own efforts? If so, your organization may be more attractive to Millennials in terms of both recruiting and retention than your industry counterparts.

Rethink the “HOW” of communicating. Millennials are hyper-connected. They prefer texting or instant messaging to talking on the phone. They’ve grown up in a world where answers are available in seconds just by texting or tweeting someone, or asking Google or Wikipedia. They thrive in a world of instant feedback and information – and on their own terms. Leading organizations are figuring out ways to embrace this need for constant communication through the use of online social collaboration tools like Yammer, Chatter, Jive, in-house systems, etc. Harnessing the opportunity to share ideas and connect with others throughout the company can produce extremely positive and creative results.

Rethink development programs and training. In general, Millennials view their careers differently than past generations. They’re not looking for a company to join and commit to for the rest of their working life. They’re interested in “portfolio careers” and are seeking opportunities where they can grow and develop – both personally and professionally – and have a wide variety of experiences. Sitting through a multi-day training class is uninteresting to them. They’re more interested in experiential learning opportunities and on demand or self-paced learning. Effective delivery of training and development programs of the future (and today) might include podcasts, YouTube videos or Google Hangouts. The Millennial workforce may prefer to consume this content on a Saturday afternoon while taking a hike or during their commute to work. They’re interested in career opportunities that work with their lifestyle, so why not create ways to allow them to blend their work and life as a part of growing their careers?

Provide more feedback/increase frequency. According to a recent MTV study, over half of Millennials want feedback on their work performance at least once per week. Traditional annual Performance Reviews? Not appealing. If this is where your organization is at currently, consider a small step such as moving annual Performance Reviews to semi-annual, or quarterly, and focus discussions on the employee’s “Journey” towards achieving Goals, not solely on the Goals themselves. Track what they’re working on as well as how they’re getting there and provide continuous feedback. Millennials don’t want to wait for a performance review once per year. They’d prefer to have continuous feedback from managers and peers – because they want to be able to make changes and perform better.

To embrace the Millennial generation in today’s workplace, not every company has to have unique spaces and activities for their employees. It’s more about evolving our current workplace policies and practices to meet the needs and expectations of the incoming generations.

In the future, they’ll be the generation trying to figure out how to deal with their successors. So teach them well!

 

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Future-Proofing Your Business: Expect the Unexpected! https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/future-proofing-your-business-expect-the-unexpected/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/future-proofing-your-business-expect-the-unexpected/#respond Tue, 03 Jul 2012 06:28:45 +0000 http://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=124 Expecting the unexpected is something many of us wish we could do. We would all love to be able to predict what changes are going to impact us next. Who in our organizations are going to be our future rockstars and who are those who will take a different path in their career journey? Are […]

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Expecting the unexpected is something many of us wish we could do. We would all love to be able to predict what changes are going to impact us next. Who in our organizations are going to be our future rockstars and who are those who will take a different path in their career journey? Are the hiring decisions we made going to pan out? If we had that ability to see what the future held for us all this focus on planning would be much less relevant. We could afford to be more lackadaisical in our approach. But the reality is the speed of change continues to increase at a lightning fast rate and we have to be prepared for what the future holds. Whatever that may be.

Now is the time for you to prepare for the future. Just simply having great people work for your organization is no longer sufficient. Our generations are changing and so are their expectations. This is our time to ensure we are planning for the impacts of this and many other changes. Our workforce is our future and with out a plan to continue to engage, develop, and grow our people, our companies will falter. Whether your challenge is getting great people, keeping them motivated or growing your future leaders, having a plan is the first step towards success. How future proofed are you?

Future Proofing Your Business Infographic

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